|Headquarters||Brooklyn, New York|
|Founder(s)||Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916)|
|Beliefs||One God: Jehovah. No Trinity. Christ is the first creation of God; the Holy Spirit is a force.|
|Practices||No blood transfusions, no celebration of holidays, no use of crosses or religious images. Baptism, Sunday service at Kingdom Hall, strong emphasis on evangelism.|
|Holidays||Memorial of Christ's death, celebrated annually. All Christian or other religious-based holidays are rejected as unbiblical and pagan.|
|Texts||New World Translation of the Scriptures|
|Symbols||watchtower (cross rejected as a pagan symbol)|
The group now known as the Jehovah's Witnesses was founded in 1879 by Charles Taze Russell, a Pennsylvania businessman. Russell's Adventist background and study of the Bible led him to conclude, among other things, that the second coming of Christ would occur in 1914, that Hellfire did not exist, and God was not a Trinity. Today, there are 6.4 million practicing Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide. Witnesses are very active in evangelism and missions, both in the group's original home of the United States and throughout the world.
Jehovah's Witnesses adhere to Russell's teachings on Hell and the Trinity and emphasize the immanent End Times, clean and moral living, the equality of all races, and adherence to the teachings of the Bible. They reject blood transfusions because of the New Testament command to "abstain from blood" and do not vote or serve in the military. Witnesses reject the symbol of the cross, do not celebrate any traditional Christian holidays, and do not celebrate birthdays.
Table of Contents
- M. James Penton, Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses, Third Edition (University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division, 2015).
- Melton, John Gordon. “Jehovah’s Witness.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online.